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Dick DeBartolo, MAD's Maddest Writer, and co-host of The Giz Wiz at GizWiz.TV, The Giz Wiz on ABC's World News Now, and on Tech Guy Labs with Leo Laporte on But wait, there's More »

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    Oh, no! Zelco has given up on the Safety Fish Water Level Alarm!

    Back to Dick’s Gadget Warehouse, Friday, October 23rd, Netcast 945

    This is (was) a clever and useful gadget that I guess wasn’t a big seller. Zelco makes all sorts of useful gadgets. Their most famous one is The Itty Bitty Booklight that has been selling for many years, with new innovations along the way. But it seems the Safety Fish Water Level was not a big seller. It was a whimsical little gadget to prevent your bathtub from overflowing. You know how it is. You’re waiting for the tub to fill and you start to do something else and then forget the water’s running. With this gadget, you just attach the Safety Fish to the tub via its suction cup. Then you adjust it to the desired water level with the included string. When the water level starts to go above the Safety Fish, a powerful beep can be heard. The alarm will continue until the water level recedes back to a safe position. It could also be used in kitchen or laundry sinks. If you do a web search you might find a few places still selling the Safety Fish. Available in three colors. Suggest retail price: $12.00

    I found them here for under $7. One of the 3 colors is already sold out. (I haven’t shopped here, it’s for your info only:) 

    Hear this Netcast:


    We haven’t done one in weeks!!! So it’s time for another flashlight!

    Thursday, October 22, 2009, Netcast 944  

    It’s not just a flashlight - it’s the Clamplight. It uses a 1-watt Cree White LED bulb. We all know LED bulb life is virtually forever - or 100,000 hours, whichever comes first! Light output is up to 65 lumens which is brighter than most other mass distributed LED lights and comparable to many hi-end technical lights. It uses 3AAA batteries and has an IC chip for more consistent light output. Battery life is about 26 hours. The Clamplight is designed to clamp virtually anywhere and stay out of the way. A strong spring clamps securely to shelves, doors, pipes, branches and other objects. Two axis swivel head directs light to any position. It’s shaped like a traditional flashlight so you can indeed just use it like a regular flashlight when you don’t need the ‘clamping’ features. The Clamplight can also be used as a stand light because the non-skid feet swivel down for stability. It’s molded in high impact ABS plastic with stainless steel fittings. MSRP is $29.99.

     Hear this Netcast: 


    A good gadget that just might help if you have trouble falling asleep!

    Wednesday, October 21, 2009, Netcast 943

    NightWave was designed to eliminate tossing and turning in order to help you fall asleep naturally. Many people lie awake at night suffering from common insomnia or jet lag. Sleep loss can be due to: over stimulation from an active mind. (That’s me! Bouncing off the walls at 3 AM). Environmental and lifestyle stresses and unfamiliar sleep surroundings can hinder sleep too. With NightWave, adults and children can begin to relax within minutes and then easily drift into sleep. It can also be used to fall back asleep in the middle of the night. Here’s how it works: NightWave projects a soft blue light into your darkened bedroom. The "luminance" of the light slowly rises and falls. You lie with eyes open and synchronize your breathing with the blue wave as its movement becomes slower and slower. After a short time, NightWave shuts off and you roll over and fall asleep. And unlike sound machines, the soft light does not disturb others. (Well hopefully it doesn’t disturb them.) The regular cycle is 7 minutes, but there’s also a 25-minute cycle for people who need, or want a longer time to fall asleep. I used it for a couple of nights and found it does help. Of course from time to time my brain over-rides my breathing and I suddenly think –“Did I post tomorrow’s DGW gadget?” – or something like that! But the object is to retrain your brain to relax and breathe properly. So you don’t have to use it forever. When you’ve mastered sleep, you can pass your NightWave on to a friend or family member who needs fall-asleep help. At the company’s website, it’s $59.95. If you do a price search on Amazon, you can find it for $49.95.The company says people who take prescription or over-the-counter sleep aids, can recoup the price of the Nightwave quickly with the money they’ll save. It’s offered with a 30 day money back guarantee.  At it’s $59.95, but they offer a 90 day trial period.

    Hear this Netcast: 


    A worthy addition to those who love “The Toothpick Bird”!

    Turn The Table Tuesday, October 20th, 2009, Netcast 942

    It’s the amazing Penguin Tea Timer. And it’s from, one our favorite places to find – well, stupid stuff. I also love the way Gary Apple, the owner of writes descriptions.  Here’s their info on the PENGUIN TEA TIMER:

    We discovered this odd Penguin at a surplus inventory tradeshow. Apparently, nobody else in the world wanted to sell these little guys -- they were just too stupid. But not for! I guess you could say we "rescued" the little fellas. Unlike many of our products, the Penguin Tea Timer is actually useful. Here's how he works... Making tea, though easy to do, is also time consuming. Once you pour the hot water into the cup, you must patiently hover over it, waiting for the tea to steep. Well, the Penguin Tea Timer happily does the waiting for you. You can either hang a tea bag from the penguin's beak, or use the tea strainer (included) with your favorite blend of loose tea. Place your teacup under the beak and set it to the desired time. As you turn the timer dial, the beak lowers the tea into the hot water. When time is up, a bell sounds and the penguin automatically lifts his beak, removing the tea bag from the water. And it doubles as a kitchen timer. The Penguin Tea Timer can be set up to 20 minutes, so you can use it as a traditional kitchen timer! The Penguin Tea Timer comes in a nice box, so he would make a (thoughtful?) gift for someone who likes tea, timers, penguins, or weird kitchen gadgets. And at $11.89, the price is not steep at all!

    Hear this Netcast:


    SafeStart – A way to stop unsafe restarts of tools and appliances.

    Monday, October 19th, 2009, Netcast 941

    The company, Safe Start Systems, says they’ve put 10 years of research and development in helping provide electrical safety gadgets for the home. The result is the patented SafetyGate. This is a simple, inexpensive safety device that prevents home appliances and tools from dangerous restarts after a power outage, breaker trip or accidental removal from the wall outlet. You know the story. You’re doing a lot of drilling so you lock the drill on “on”. A fuse blows or a circuit breaker shuts off. You go to fix the problem and forget the drill is locked “on”. When the power comes back on, the drill springs into action without supervision. SafeStart Systems says that there is no other safety product like theirs in the consumer marketplace today. Evidentially thousands of kids are injured each year when appliances restart after power is restored to the place they were plugged in. An important note: Some electronics do not have a "true" or "hard" on-off switch. Even though you may have it in the off position, it still may be using power. If this is the case, your SafetyGate will refuse to reset because it is still seeing a power draw. (You can tell from the pilot LED on the SafetyGate when power has been restored to the line.) Luckily the solution is simple: If your equipment does not have a hard switch, simply use it with a power strip that has an on/off switch. Attach the SafetyGate to the power strip's plug and plug your most electronics into the strip. You now can protect several pieces of equipment with a single SafetyGate. When you experience a power loss and the SafetyGate is lit, simply turn the power strip switch to "off" and then back "on" when you are ready. There are two models. Safety gate for mixers, blenders, toaster ovens, electric knifes, etc.  $18.95 + S&H. And coming soon: SafetyGate for drills, hedge clippers, power saws, etc. $23.99 + S&H.

    Hear this Netcast: